@coastfly: The New Glass Aesthetic

“Shriiiiiiimp! I just love Shrimps.”

This is the first part of two similar portrait interviews, I’ve conducted with two extremely talented fly tyers. I have wanted to do this for a long time, and by adding a new dimension to this little intergalactic coastal cruiser called kystflue.com, I guess I’ve taken the very first step into a new future for the website. And I love it already!

First of all you’ve probably noticed that I am writing in English. Don’t worry; we’re not transforming kystflue.com into an all-english endavour from this day forward. But occasionally we will be writing in English.

Some evil tongued gangsters might think that we’re just trying to be international badasses, but the truth and simple reason is actually somewhat quite different. We have experienced an awesome increase in readers from the US, Germany, UK, and the rest of Scandinavia etc. during the last year, which we are really excited about. It is as simple as that; we want to share special parts of our adventure with them too. Especially if specific blog themes contain broader perspectives than just coastal fly fishing on Funen. What you are about to read, has this broader angle attached to it, so let’s take this a step further, coastal brothers.

If you have paid attention to social media types such as Instagram when looking for fly tying inspiration, you have probably noticed that there is something exciting going on in the deep southern parts of Denmark and on the west coast of Sweden simultaniously.

I have baptized the movement: “The new glass aesthetic”. This movement is in my opinion lead by two extraordinary coastal fly tyers, and this week we’ll zoom in on the danish contribution.

I remember the first time I caught a glimpse of the ‘Glass Shrimp’ by @coastfly. I instantly felt this creative fly tying urge rise deep inside of me, almost like a divine intervention. It was a new direction. What I saw was something fresh, personal and mesmerizing. Simply a new take on tradition, and it was the real deal for me.

True talent is not a question of time length, but rather the ability to create something extraordinary in the now. My good friend Morten Hansen, the man behind @coastfly, is the very realization of that concept. Since I started following Morten’s fly tying endavours, I’ve been really curious to get to know his way of thinking coastal seatrout flies to fully understand how a master perceive the very aesthetic of fly tying in regards of different techniques and material use – and how it links to the pragmatic side of fly-fishing in saltwater. What I love about Morten’s fly tying is the attention he brings to small details and how he manages to create pure awesomeness out of few materials. But one thing is how I interpret Morten’s work, a whole different level is when it comes from the mouth of the glass master himself. So here we go, folks. Let’s get into business and see what’s on Morten’s mind.

Kasper: First of all thank you so much for taking your time to chat with me about the concept of coastal fly tying and your own awesome work. Let’s start with the ground work. What are the basics or fundamentals of a good coastal seatrout fly?

Morten: Well, the basics and/or fundamentals – in my opinion – are mimicking the real deal (shrimps, baitfish etc). Not so much in color, but mainly in shape, and the way the prey looks and moves.

Kasper: How would you describe your identity as a coastal fly tyer?

Morten: I’m a so-called “late bloomer” and have only been tying flies for roughly 4 years now – But it didn’t take long for me to know in which direction I wanted to go with my flies. Modern flies with new techniques and more realism is what I like to tie – although I absolutely love a classic as well.

Kasper: In your words what defines your coastal fly aesthetic?

Morten: Tough question! I think the key thing that defines my work is my eye for small details and the fact that I use more time on each fly that drops of my vise than the average fly tier. It’s important to me to make the fly look perfect. By that, I mean some people tie fast because they don’t care about looks and they know that the fly will fish just as well as anything from my fly box – and that is absolutely fine with me. I just like my flies to look good in the box as well – and most of us choose the best looking fly in the box to strengthen our beliefs in that fly and in its capabilities in catching that dream fish.

Kasper: What is your favorite fly tying material and why that specific material?

Morten: Few. It is no secret that I love UV-resin, but that’s not really a material, I guess, more like a helpful tool as I see it. But if I would have to choose one material for every fly, I would choose craft fur. It’s cheap, it’s very soft but strong at the same time, it comes in all colors of the rainbow, and it even has “underfur” which you can use as dubbing as well. Very versatile in my opinion. Also because craft fur can be used as a substitute for spey feathers – which we all know costs a hell of a lot more!

Kasper: Take us through your work process – from idea to end result.

Morten: I’m kind of a “run and gun” type of person when it comes to designing and creating. Most of the time I will sit down and just scramble through my materials and place matching colors, feathers, flash etc. on the table in front of me and then I just tie by “feel” and intuition. I know it sounds strange, but I rarely get the ideas when I’m not sitting by my vise. Except for the ‘Glass Shrimp’. That glorious little thing came to my head in a pet store as I walked by a tank full of shrimps.

Kasper: If you could pick only one pattern, what would it be? Shrimp or baitfish?

Morten: Shrimp. Definitely Shrimp. Shrimps are always on the menu of a hungry saltwater predator. And it’s fairly an easy prey as well. So that´ll be the shrimp. Shriiiiiiimp! I just love Shrimps.

Kasper: What does tradition in the sense of fly tying mean to you – and how do you use tradition?

Morten: I respect the traditional way of tying flies and what it has done for fly tying from start to where we are today. That being said I like to do my own things in my own way – and I will choose UV-resin over epoxy any day because it’s easier, a lot faster and not so messy. But as mentioned earlier in this interview I absolutely LOVE a good well tied classic pattern. Like the “Grå Frede” or “Magnus” and so on.

Kasper: What is the most important feature or design aspect of a coastal seatrout fly?

Morten: The most important thing to me is to make the fly look like the prey I’m imitating – at least in silhouette. That is why I mentioned earlier that color isn’t the most important thing. Try taking a grey fly and hold it up against the sky looking at it from the fish´s point of view. Now do the same with a yellow one, or a red one. They all look grey from this point of view. I don’t know how to feel about the whole fluorescent hype at the moment. It looks good – yes. However, does it get me more fish? Maybe. Maybe because I have a stronger belief in that fire red fly and therefore will fish it more actively and creative. But then again – look at “Kobberbassen”. That fly fools more seatrout than almost any other fly out there – and it has no fluorescent materials in it what so ever. I think the real secret lies within the belief in the fly on my leader.

Kasper: Let’s take a look in the crystal ball: What is the next big thing in coastal fly tying?

Morten: Well, I think (and hope) that big streamers will find their way into our boxes in the future. They´ve already proven themselves in rivers and lakes for both seatrouts and salmons, so why would they not work on the coast as well?

Kasper: What is your proudest achievement up until now as a skilled fly tyer, what is your biggest invention so far?

Morten: That will be the ‘Glass Shrimp’. Hands down. End of story. That fly was a homerun so to speak. My flag ship and my proudest moment – and it really got my name “out there”. Time will test its capabilities whether it will become a “classic” in the future. But I’ve caught 6 saltwater species on it so far (seatrout, flounder, garfish, mackerel, weever, and cod). So I know it works. It eventually lead to a whole glass series, which I’m very proud of as well. There are many fly tiers out there, and they all wants to “reinvent” the wheel. I think that the ‘Glass Shrimp’ and its cousins ignited a spark in a whole new breed of fly tiers. And also creativity in what can be done with just a few materials and some UV-resin. As an example: Jonatans extremely beautiful “super shrimp”. I mean look at that thing! That is the best damn looking shrimp fly I have ever seen since Kern Lunds “Perfect Leo Shrimp”!

Kasper: Well, that was really it, Morten. You’re one hell of a nice guy, a much-talented fly tyer, and I really think you’ll be one of the front runners of the future of coastal fly tying. I really like the way you interpret various aspects of your seatrout flies, from silhouettes over color to your personal take on tradition and creativity. I’m a fan! Best of luck, buddy! 

If you want to follow Morten’s work in the future, just click on the following links:

I totally recommend the episode about ‘hook talk’ and of course all of Morten’s fly tying videos – such a priceless inspiration going on there! Or simply just watch Morten perform mad skills mastering UV-resin like a pro in this video from Ahrex:

Next week’s interview will feature none other than the great Jonatan Ternald – stay tuned, folks! There’s a real treat coming your way!

// Kasper

Photo credits: Morten Hansen

Ahrex Hooks + Kystflue.com teamer op

Oh yes!

Mads og jeg er super glade i disse dage. Vi har lavet et samarbejde med Ahrex Hooks omkring vores fluebindingsworkshop, så vores deltagere får mulighed for at prøve deres krogsortimenter under workshoppen og efterfølgende.

Vi har stadig pladser på kurset, så hvis du kunne tænke dig en hyggelig formiddag, som står på foredrag, bindesessions, kroge, lækker frokost og good times sammen med andre ligesindede, så tilmeld dig kurset lige her.

I vores optik er Ahrex Hooks en lille perle på den nordiske krogscene. Deres salt water sortiment afspejler den tilknytning til det praktiske kystfluefiskeri, vi selv er store fans af – og som vi mener er helt afgørende i forhold til at få succes med de blanke havørreder.

Derudover er det en ren fryd at binde på Ahrex-krogene, hvis finish og struktur lader tråden arbejde optimalt. Det er svært at sætte ord på, men et bud kunne være, at det føles som om, at bindetråd og krogskaft smelter sammen. Vi elsker det!

Se Ahrex’ fede hjemmeside her

ahrex

 

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The Ultimate Nullifier

Jeg tror, de fleste kystfluefiskere har et næsten religiøst forhold til de kystfluer, de anvender i deres fiskeri på kysterne og fjordene. Men jeg hører også ofte om kystfluefiskere, der kun anvender én flue. Argumentet lyder helt enkelt: “hvis havørreden ser fluen, er sulten og på jagt, så tager den fluen uanset hvad”. I min optik er det både rigtigt og forkert.

Havørreden er uden tvivl en opportunistisk rovfisk, med instinkterne helt uden på de sølvglinsende skæl – men den kan også være en ekstremt selektiv fisk, der ikke lader sig nøje med hvad som helst, vi serverer for den. Der er selvfølgelig forskel på, hvornår på året, du oplever havørredens luner. Når fødeemnerne er knappe og havørrederne er sultne, så skal der ikke så meget til.

Omvendt har jeg også oplevet ekstremt svære fisk i forårets kongemåneder.

Jeg vil derfor argumentere for, at vi tænker vores fluer – og derved også vores fluebinding – ind i en ramme, hvor det handler om at fokusere pragmatisk på det, vi bruger vores kystfluer til, nemlig til at fange fisk med.

Kystfiskeriet efter havørred forandrer sig fra år til år, fordi de kystpladser, hvor vi fisker havørred, undergår en række naturgivne forandringer (storm, undersøisk strøm etc.), der så at sige reshaper bundforhold, vegetation, revkonturer.

På samme måde skal vi også tænke vores kystfluer, så vi hele tiden har de fluer i æsken, som kan bruges under forskellige omstændigheder og i forskellige fiskesituationer.

Min flueboks afspejler både tradition og fornyelse. Jeg er stor fan af de klassiske havørredmønstre, som jeg altid bruger – men jeg forsøger også at tage udgangspunkt i traditionen, når jeg designer nye mønstre. Særligt den sidste del har at gøre med de foranderlige situationer, som vi gang på gang oplever – og som derfor står helt centralt som helt brugbare erfaringer i min fluebindingspraksis.

Den flue, som jeg vil vise, har sit udspring i en dag på kysten, hvor jeg fandt en flok aktive havørreder, der fouragerede og tailede på meget lavt vand. Havørrederne var totalt ligeglade med mine små ubelastede tanglopper og transparente rejer. Uheldigvis var alle mine baitfishmønstre og små streamers belastede, så jeg kunne ikke få dem til at svæve i vandet, så jeg effektivt kunne fiske fluerne på det lave vand – faktisk gjorde de umiddelbart mere skade end gavn. Det var ekstremt frustrerende, så jeg trak en nulbon, selvom fiskene var på pladsen.

Med udgangspunkt i Jesper Alives tanker om ubelastede fluer og mine egne om de vigtige enkelthedsprincipper udviklede jeg derfor et baitfish-mønster, som rummer de features, der gør det muligt at fiske fluen svævende langsomt, med mulighed for et aggressivt og eksplosivt flygtende træk i linen, så den både kan ‘hænge’ over vegetationen og pludseligt flygte væk. Det er noget, der kan få selv den mest kræsne havørred op på finnerne, hvilket jeg ofte har oplevet – og jeg er sikker på, at den havde gjort en forskel i ovenstående oplevelse med de kræsne fisk.

Fluen hedder “The Ultimate Nullifier”:

kutling-baitfish

“THE ULTIMATE NULLIFIER”

Materialeliste:

Krog: Ahrex NS122 light stinger #6

Bindetråd: Monoclear

Hale: Whiting coq de leon (dark pardo) + crystal flash small

Krop: Lite brite (pearl) + spectra dub (violet)

Kropshackle: Whiting coq de leon (dark pardo)

Øjne: Rejeøjne

Hoved: Marabou fra Whiting coq de leon (dark pardo) + kropsdubbing

Bindevejledning:

1. Begynd med at fæstne tråden på krogen, som du plejer. Dernæst udvælger du en passende coq de leon fjer fra nakken. Vælg en lang fjer, så du har fjermateriale nok til hele fluen. Du skal nemlig kun bruge én fjer til hele fluen. Lav et halebundt af de lange fibre på fjerstammen, som du stripper af. Bind det ind sammen med to stråler crystal flash, som du vender dobbelt og bagud. Halen må ikke være længere end selve krogskaftet.

2. Dernæst binder du rejeøjnene ind, så de flugter med krogskaftet op mod krogøjet. Du får rejeøjnene til at stritte ud til siderne ved hjælp af ottetals-beviklinger, så de sidder på samme måde som kuglekædeøjne. Husk på, at der skal være plads til at forme hovedet, så det ser harmonisk ud.

3. Nu er det tid til at mixe kropsdubbingen. Tag et godt bundt lite brite og en lille smule af spectra dubbingen, som du blender sammen. Når kropsdubbingen er færdig, har den et svagt violet shine, som ser for vildt ud i våd tilstand. Herefter dubber du kroppen, som du plejer. Kroppen må gerne have et let taperet udtryk.

4. Derefter skal du have fat i fjerstammen igen. Mål evt. fibrene i forhold til krogen, så fluen får et harmonisk udtryk, når hackler fluen. Hacklet bindes ind, så de længste fibre er forrest. Når du har låst hacklet, bruger du bindetråden som rib, og fører den tilbage over kroppen til indbindingspunktet bagerst, hvorefter du tvinger kropshacklet om kroppen. Når du har kropshacklet på plads, bruger du den transparente bindetråd til at låse og ribbe kropshacklet modsat op mod krogøjet.

5. Nu er det tid til at lave det sidste på fluen, nemlig hovedet. Lav en dubbingløkke, hvori du mixer og spinder marabouen, som du har strippet fra den nederste del af fjerstammen, sammen med lidt af den blendede dubbing, som du har brugt til kroppen. Det er vigtigt, at marabouen udgør den dominerende del af materialesammensætningen. Herefter tørner du den spundne dubbingløkke om rejeøjnene, så hovedet får et harmonisk udtryk.

6. Afslut med whipfinish og en gennembørstning af fluen.

“The Ultimate Nullifier” er en kystflue, som er tænkt som en lille kutlingeimitation, men som også kan fungere som en fræk og anderledes rejeimitation. Selvom materialerne er porøse, så er det en superstærk flue, der virkelig kan holde til at blive gnasket.

God bindelyst ved stikket, venner – og knæk og bræk derude.

Kystfluehilsner,

Kasper T.

 

 

Få den fjer på! Kystflue.coms fluebindingsworkshop

Lørdag den 3. december 2016 afholder Mads og jeg den vildeste fluebindingsworkshop på Gl. Brydegaard på Helnæs.

Vi ved godt, at det er midt i julefrokostsæsonen, men du må simpelthen ikke gå glip af det her arrangement, der både indeholder foredrag, bindesessions, instruktion, vejledning, gourmetfrokost og andre lækre indslag.

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Indkørslen til skønne Gl. Brydegaard på Helnæs – den perfekte ramme, synes vi.

Det bliver en dag, hvor vi skal hygge igennem – men det bliver også en kystfluebindingsdag, hvor læring, udvikling, erfaringsudveksling og fluebindingskærlighed står helt centralt. Du kan læse lidt mere om kurset og se programmet her.

Alle er velkomne uanset fluebindingsniveau. Vi tager udgangspunkt i den enkeltes forudsætninger, så alle deltagere får noget med hjem fra kurset.

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Der er tjekkede forhold på Gl. Brydegaard, og det spiller bare max!

Derfor: Sæt kryds i kalenderen, book en plads -og lad resten af familien hygge sig med juleshopping i Odense, mens du giver den pedal sammen med Mads og jeg og 7 andre ligesindede i Gl. Brydegaards skønne omgivelser. Det bliver for fedt!

Tilmeld dig her – og bliv den bedste kystfluebinder, du kender!

Vi glæder os til at se dig!

De bedste kystfluehilsner,

Mads og Kasper